Facebook announced the launch of a new free cloud gaming service that includes several games on the Facebook app and desktop.
Gaming is huge these days and is only expected to get bigger over time. Naturally, Facebook wants a piece of the pie, so it’s looking to expand beyond live streaming and into other territories occupied by companies like Microsoft or Google.
But Facebook’s latest foray into the gaming industry doesn’t replace your current cloud-streamed gaming service or your favorite hardware. Instead, it might just offer an introduction to what Facebook envisions for the future.
This week, Facebook announced the launch of a new cloud-streaming gaming service with several games that are playable instantly – no need to download anything. The company says that over 200,000 people have already been playing the games as part of a test, so now it’s expanding to other users.
The games currently available are free-to-play and include titles such as Asphalt 9: Legends, PGA TOUR Golf Shootout, Solitaire: Arthur’s Tale, Mobile Legends: Adventure, and WWE SuperCard. Facebook says that it will add more games over time, with Red Bull’s Dirt Bike Unchained coming within the next few weeks.
The cloud-streamed games are launching in two formats: Full, free-to-play mobile games in Play, and cloud playable ads that let people try out a game directly on Facebook.
“It’s critical for us to start with latency-tolerant games so we can deliver a good experience for players across a variety of devices. For the purposes of our beta, that includes genres like sports, card, simulation, and strategy games,” explains Jason Rubin, VP of Play at Facebook. “This is cloud gaming after all, so even with latency-tolerant games players may notice some glitches. We’ll occasionally show player rating cards and feedback forms to help improve the experience over time.”
However, as the technology progresses, Facebook says it will add new genres, and that expansion is likely to start in 2021 with the addition of action and adventure games. Depending on the format and developer choice, games will launch with in-app purchases and ads enabled.
Cloud-streamed games on Facebook will initially start rolling out in the US – across California, Texas, and Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states. This includes Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Washington, D.C., Virginia, and West Virginia.
Then, access will expand regionally within the coming months as Facebook scales its infrastructure.
If you live in one of the above regions, you can play the games on the Facebook app on Android and on the web, at fb.gg/play. Game developers can sign up for the closed beta.